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Axelrodi202 12-23-2012 02:58 PM

Planting New High Tech Tank
Is it best to have a good number of plants on hand when planting a high tech tank or is it okay to only have some and plant the rest later? I have a 10 gallon high tech tank I'm starting up soon and the only plants I already have on hand are a bit of HC, DHG 'belem', and several stems of Rotala 'Yao yai'. I intend for the tank to have various species of Rotalas along with a carpet of DHG Belem when it's done.

K Randall 12-23-2012 05:44 PM

Re: Planting New High Tech Tank
You will definitely have MUCH less trouble establishing your tank and avoiding algae by planting as much of th bottom of the tank as possible right from day one. Some people who don't have enough of their foreground sp. to plant densely use a dry start method, which allows the plants to spread and grow without the competition of algae.

niko 12-23-2012 07:18 PM

Re: Planting New High Tech Tank
If you know how to keep the algae from growing you can start with an almost bare tank. Actually you can start with a bare tank. Not joking.

Yes, it is best to use as many plants as you can from the start, no doubt. But the plants also need to be healthy. Otherwise you will get quite a bit of issues with the plant health and have a hard time controlling the factors which let algae grow (organics in the water, release of nutrients from damaged plants, etc.).

The dry start method seems like a good idea but once you feel good about the plants and fill the tank with water the plants go through a transition period that is as sensitive as starting the tank the normal way. So now you have a tank with plants who have supposedly nicely developed and well established roots. But in a tank full of water you have to know the same thing - how to supress the algae growth.

So how do you keep the algae from growing in a high tech tank?
- ADA's take on this is to use rich substrate, water with just enough fertilizers that the plants can grow but there is no free floating chemicals in the water, controlled CO2 supply, staged light periods, very light fish load, very good flow and flow pattern.

- There is also a popular approach that overloads the water with fertilizers, blasts the tank with a extra light and CO2 and makes the plants grow as fast as they can. The algae will not grow if the plants are growing well. How that works exactly is not clear but it is possible to keep a tank clean that way if you stay on top of the maintenance. Many people do just that. But never forget that your water is full of everything that algae needs, at all times. Noone will be able to give you a good advice what to do if algae actually appears.

See which one of the above two makes more sense to you.

Aquaticz 12-24-2012 07:01 AM

Re: Planting New High Tech Tank
Tip - before O re do a scape I always make sure I have lots of plants available. First after the hardscape I do my scaped planting followed by filling it up with any plant that grows like a weed. In a new tank I do not fertilize until the second week when using aqua soil - why? Because I like the plants to get rooted first so the can absorb whatever they need.
Not sure if anyone else does it this way but that is the beauty of this hobby...many ways to get the "result" aslong as you are having fun :-)

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